Today we had another press conference from the Yes2AV campaign pointing out why AV would be an improvement in the way we elect our MP’s.
This week I finally received a response following my second email to my MP Dawn Primarolo. Initially following a simple questioning of her stance on AV she sent me a letter that stated how she felt giving reasons for why she is against AV. You can see the letter in its entirety and my response here.
This time her response was even less satisfactory than last time. rather than engage in debate, she simply stated:
“I Have nothing further to add to my previous reply to you on this issue”
Her first letter was also fairly pathetic as she stated her reasons for supporting FPTP such as FPTP is “simple to understand” and AV would cause more “hung Parliaments”. The first reason being patronising and the second factually incorrect.
So some on the no campaign doesn’t wish to have a debate.
However, others like Douglas Hurd are happy to have a kind of debate as was shown today on radio 4 when debating with Charles Kennedy. He engaged in a debate which included repeating simple “untruths” or ignoring the issues raised.
Douglas Hurd stated that you would need a qualification in “higher maths” to understand the AV system. I would expect nothing else from an old guard political war horse who see’s politics in terms of left and right, Tory Vs Labour. The patronising nature of this argument is so vial that it is unbelievable that politicians still seek to use it.
The same arguments were always used in the past to prevent the vote being given to the masses in the 19th C and women in the 20th C. They won’t understand or they need to be educated.
The world, unlike many in the no campaign, has moved on. We no longer live in a 2 party state; it is no longer the will of the people or satisfactory to pass governance between to parties. The electorate is far more astute than this, as our electoral system at present shows. Currently the population of the UK currently deals with many different forms of electoral systems including AV already, why would they be confused??
Another misconception shown by Douglas Hurd is the often quoted nonsense of there being more hung parliaments due to AV. Yet through research we know this is not the case, the only election over the past 30 years that would have been a hung parliament under AV would have been the one we have just had under FPTP.
But often quoted lies and damn lies is all the no campaign can muster.
We now have another challenge for the no campaign although I am not happy that the arguments go in this direction due to it deflecting from the real issues. The YES campaign has published its information ahead of time of its donors to the campaign, will the NO campaign do the same?? Unlikely is the answer.
But the real question is why are the no2av campaigners so scared of such a small change in the electoral system, and why, if they are really concerned with democratic change and accountability did they not put down an amendment to bring in a 3rd option, that of Proportional Representation?
The whole point of the NO campaign is to keep the status quo which has been discredited, and to live in the past.
Lets take this step toward a new future, the smallest of all steps, by voting yes in the AV referendum.
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